When it comes to applying for apartments in Ontario, it can take a lot of effort to put your best foot forward. Especially in a hot market where units receive hundreds of rental applications — standing out in a sea of other renters can be challenging.
We’re liv.rent and on our platform, we make the rental process easy. When you fill out your profile, called a renter’s resume, you can use it to apply to multiple listings in just a few minutes.
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We know there can be a lot of questions that come up when you’re renting, especially if it’s your first time. So, we created this series to help answer questions and give you options on your rental journey.
This is part two of our four-part series on applying for rentals in Ontario. Check out the other posts:
What do you need when applying for a rental property?
When you’re applying for a rental, you’ll need to share some of your personal information like your:
- Full name
- Current address
- Rental history/ Past addresses
- Previous landlord references
- Employment information
- Contact information
- SIN number (optional to provide this, it helps them to run credit checks)
Also, it’s a good idea to be up on the latest tenancy rules, guidelines, and laws in Ontario.
What should not be on a rental application?
You should not put any personal private information on your rental application including your:
- Age (unless the unit you’re applying for is age-restricted, like with senior housing)
- Gender or sexual orientation
- Medical history
- Credit card numbers
This kind of information does not belong on your rental application and landlords should not ask for this information.
How can I convince my landlord to let me rent with bad credit?
You can still rent a home with bad credit, especially on liv.rent where you can add your renter’s story to your profile.
By telling your story to potential landlords, they’ll get a more comprehensive idea of you as a renter beyond your credit score. Plus, our more comprehensive Trust Score system takes into account additional metrics like your income to rent ratio to prove your trustworthiness as a renter.
Can you rent without credit history?
Yes, you can rent without a credit history. The best way to ensure that you’re successful in your rental journey without a credit history is to provide enough details and context.
These could include bank documentation showing your savings or financial support from your family or even your payslips and a letter of employment.
That way, you’ve created an incentive for a landlord to trust you and rent to you.
Do rental applications hurt your credit score?
Your credit score can be affected slightly if and when landlords run hard credit checks on you.
Generally, the effect is not that significant and if many credit checks like this take place in the same period, it’s only reflected in your credit score as one inquiry
With the Trust Score rating system we use at liv.rent, we employ a soft credit check to provide you with a measure of your trustworthiness and reliability as a renter. Soft credit checks like this do not affect your credit score.
- Ordering your credit report and score — Government of Canada
- Credit report and score basics — Government of Canada
- Will Checking Your Credit Hurt Credit Scores? — Equifax
How can I increase my chances of renting a house?
On liv.rent, your profile can increase the likelihood of securing your dream rental. It provides additional context for landlords, helping them to establish trust faster.
All the information you add to your renter’s resume is then converted into a rental application, and then finally, finally a contract. You only fill your profile with the same information that’s on a standard tenancy application.
Your information is always secure because we use AES-256-CTR encryption and secure all network traffic with the HTTPS secure protocol.
How do you get approved for a rental?
While there are no guarantees, the best way to get approved for a rental is to start with a strong application. Here are some more tips to help you get approved for a rental:
- Know your credit score
- Be organized and have documents ready
- Prepare your references
Pro tip: fill out your renter’s resume once on liv.rent and use it to apply to multiple units, saving time and energy.
What makes a strong rental application?
Strong rental applications have:
- Good references who are ready to answer the phone and share positive things about you.
- A decent credit score.
- Sufficient employment and financial documentation.
On liv.rent, applications are extremely well-organized and allow you to present your best self to landlords. Having a fully complete and verified profile with a photo makes for a very strong application.
How can I rent a house without a rental history?
Yes, you can rent a house without a rental history. First-time renters can have a more difficult time securing homes, however, due to a lack of previous reliable references.
Additionally, first-time renters should have all their documents prepared and ready to go. Be ready to be completely transparent and honest with potential landlords about not having an extensive rental history.
Pro tip: liv.rent makes it easy for first-time renters to secure a tenancy on their own thanks to features like our renter’s resumes.
How can I check my rental history?
The easiest way to keep track of your rental history is by using liv.rent — we store all your information for you so that you don’t have to go hunting down your previous landlord’s contact information or prior addresses.
Otherwise, the only way to check your rental history is to keep good records yourself.
Search for listings now:
How is rental history verified?
Landlords will verify that your rental history is accurate by reaching out to your references on your application. They’re looking to hear that you were a good and trustworthy tenant.
They’ll also check your supplemental documentation to make sure that the addresses are all aligned.
Do you need payslips to rent a house?
Yes, you might need to show payslips to rent a house. Landlords are looking to run a credit check on potential tenants. They also want to verify that you’re employed or at least have the financial means to afford to pay rent consistently.
Payslips or paystubs are a convenient way to show your employment and income, however, there are other documents you could use as well such as a letter of employment.
What do I do when I rent for the first time?
Typically, first-time renters need to be informed on their local guidelines to know what’s legally required of them and what’s not to help them stay safe from scams.
Then, they need to be prepared to show financial and employment documentation to show how they have the ability to pay rent on time consistently, even though they don’t have previous references who can speak to that.
liv.rent is perfect for first-time renters because of our verifications, digital applications, and contracts. It can make the entire rental journey really smooth, saving you time and energy.
How can you fail rental referencing?
You could fail the reference check portion of your rental application if:
- your previous landlords did not provide a good reference
- you didn’t ask or inform your previous landlords that you would be providing their contact information for a reference check
- your previous landlords were unreachable or non-responsive
You can increase your chances of having a successful reference check by being a quiet, responsible tenant and always paying rent on time. Maintain amicable relationships with your landlords and let them know you require their assistance as a reference for finding your next home.
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Renting in Ontario
For information on renting in Ontario, refer to these resource posts about leases and evictions.
- Ontario Standard Lease Explained
- Frequently Asked Questions: Everything You Need to Know About Eviction in Ontario
- Renting: Changes During COVID-19
- PIPEDA: Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
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